Monday, December 19, 2011

Sprinkling HOPE this Christmas

Spreading JOY, making a difference and doing what we can, where we are with what we have.  That’s all that any of us can do.

When several hundred of us get together, it simply amazes me as to what can be accomplished.  I wish that I had the time and space to list what each one of you mean to Spreading Joy!  You should know because you cared, gave, worked and used your voice that there was hope sprinkled in the hearts of Mom’s and Children this Christmas.

The tears of joy, laughter and hugs were unbelievable as everyone enjoyed an afternoon of carefree fun.

Children held up “PaSketti” as long as their arms while trying to slurp it up. My friend and I were soaking up the moment as we watched one boy completely enjoying his “PaSketti,” he had a huge smile as he was navigating the food in the right direction and the Pasketti face was priceless!  Others enjoyed the hotdogs and scrumptious macaroni and cheese.  All enjoyed the delicious desserts that the ladies of New Grace Baptist Church provided for us.

We were able to reach out to these amazing women and kids because you reached out with your huge heart, time, talents and gifts.  Thank you! By partnering with us we were able to bring Christmas Joy their way.  Here is a look at what happened:

  • We feed approx. 120 Moms and kids and volunteers spaghetti, salad, bread, mac-n-cheese, hotdogs and dessert

  • There was an awesome selection of drinks for everyone to choose from

  • The Moms were taken next door for some encouragement and shopping for toys.  They were encouraged to Boldly Walk into 2012.

  • We were able to give each Mom a gift bag with the following – Chicken Soup for the Soul book, a second encouraging book, beaded bookmark, Oriental Carpet Creation purse, Nativity book/cd combo, body wash and/or hand sanitizer, coffee & condiment pack.  Do you realize how HUGE this gift is?  These Mothers didn’t come for anything for themselves.  They only wanted gifts for their kids!

  • Each Mom was allowed to Shop for Free for 5 toys for their child to open on Christmas morning

  • After the shopping was completed, they moved into our Wrapping Rooms and wrapped, tagged and secured each present for travel home. You should have been here to hear the laughter and giggles of delight!

While all of this was going on, the kids were having a grand time of their own!

  • They heard the story of the Birth of Christ and how the Angels proclaimed this wonderful gift!

  • We allowed them to row by row shop at our Candy Store.  There were about 30 different candies and treats for them to choose from.  YOU should have been there to hear their giggles and laughter at this! Such a sweet treat!

  • We brought the children over to the gift rooms and allowed them to choose 2 gifts each to take home THAT day.  (The others were from their mom to be placed under the tree)

  • Before each child left, I personally gave each one of them a hug and a Reese’s Cup.  As I hugged them, I told them just how very special they were and that people from all over the world cared about them and wanted them to have a very Merry Christmas.  Their smiles will forever warm my heart!


As exciting as this day was, there is no way it could have been possible without the help of so many wonderful people.

Huge thanks and a deep appreciation goes out to:

  • Todd, from Mooresville NC - For donating all of the spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and hotdogs.  A HUGE thank you to Murdock, my friend for being my knight in shining armor in this! Both of you guys saved the day!

  • Olive Garden for donating the Salad

  • Those that collected toys for us: Clark Nexsen Architecture, Sport Clips Denver, Lake Norman Oral and Facial Surgery, Iron Mountain & Sugar Creek Garden Center

  • Those that sponsored the Christmas Joy Event – Jeff & Kathy Broom, Teen Challenge Women’s Center, Hope Circle of Linden ARP Church, Sock Grams and LifeBridge Christian Center

  • Thank you Jackie and Bob for using your voices by adding our Christmas Joy Event to your web site and spreading the word as much as possible.

  • Thank you Michael and Angie for helping with emailing and rounding up places to collect toys and make donations.

  • Thank you to The Book Rack in Charlotte for Donating books and the beaded bookmarks and to Lincolnton Book Stop in Lincolnton for donating books.

  • Thank you to those that have Facebooked our event, recommending us for those seeking for places to give funding too.

  • The precious friends I’ve come to know and love on Twitter that help us make a difference! My twitterverse is an amazing place of love and I’m forever grateful for each one of you.  You’ll never know the extent of my gratitude for you! You encourage me more than you can possibly imagine!

  • Thank you to Patterson Pope – my full time employer, for the paid 16 hours of Community Service time to take care of the “STUFF” that is near and dear to my heart.

  • Thank you to Pastor Jerry Taylor and the wonderful family of New Grace Baptist Church! Thank you for your monthly support, the use of your facilities, vehicles and for how you always step up and volunteer to help when we do these various events!

  • My friends and family that always have time to help, volunteer and look for/round up what was missing, needed and offered an arm of support, smile of inspiration and heart of love. I love you and wouldn’t know what to do without you.


A special thanks to my Mom for helping me load and unload the majority of these gifts bright and early Thursday morning and last minute sorting on Saturday morning.  I hope that when I’m 70, I’ll still be going as strong as you are.  I love you dearly.

A very special thank you to Steve….my wonderful husband.  For listening to the endless chatter about the new ideas, the Candy Store and how excited I am to be spreading joy.  Christmas has always excited me, but making a difference in this fashion, kicks up the excitement factor…a LOT.  Thank you honey!! I love you.

I hope that you’ll watch the videos, see the pictures and that as you do, you’ll sit back, smile and say…

There’s no Joy like Spreading JOY!


Thank you! The hope you've sprinkled this Christmas will carry in the hearts of many for years to come!

[whispering] if I've forgotten anyone, PLEASE tell me so that I can fix it...and do so quickly!

Also - if you were THERE on this amazing day, please take a moment to comment and share YOUR story! I know you have one!  If you don't, share how your heart soared in helping to sprinkle HOPE this Christmas!

Here is an audio recording of the encouragement I gave to the ladies:

Boldly Walk into the New Year!

A Video for your Viewing Pleasure! Thank you for how you are Spreading JOY and Making a Difference!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Remember

I remember the excitement of Christmas and thinking it would never get here (Wait..that was JUST last week *grins*)

I remember Thanksgiving trips to the mountains to see my Grandmother and other family members

I remember the many, many games of kill the man with the ball

I remember playing dodgeball in our street till way past we were supposed to

I remember walking to school and enjoying it

I remember my favorite doll being my Baby-That-Away and I carried her everywhere, until my Dad sat on her accidentially

I remember playing freeze tag

I remember always being the pitcher for the softball games and my brothers aiming at me when they were at bat

I remember a bus that came by on Sundays to take us to Church

I remember getting up and making Mom's coffee early for her for a while

I remember sleeping with the window open as we had no air conditioning

I remember walking in the snow, always

I remember walking down the railroad tracks with Mom & Angie - but when we got to the bridge, I'd go down the hill, across the road and back up again.

I remember riding our bikes everywhere, even 4 to 8 miles away to the grocery store

I remember only having enough for "today" and being the happiest ever

I remember walking home in the rain from the grocery store and stomping through the puddles

I remember thumping Mom in the head and her chasing me down, sitting on me, thumping me back and NOT getting up when the cable dude came in to install our new "gift"

I remember getting up in the mornings and running to the heater to get ready as only one room had heat

I remember my first kiss, and then later.... I remember wishing I had not wasted it on someone who truly didn't care

I remember burning up our toaster oven and feeling horrible as a teen because we had nothing else to cook with....nothing

I remember playing card games with Mom until 2 or 3 am and singing most of the time. The torture she endured while we had fun

I remember going to sleep anticipating Christmas and dreaming of wrapped presents all around me

I remember not having much by way of "things" but always feeling more loved than I could describe

I remember the few wonderful trips to the beach, Dad taking me WAY out, but I wasn't afraid as he was a giant in my eyes. I remember him lifting me high above the water and giggling with delight

I remember the crab that got out of the coffee pot at the beach house and chased me out of the bathroom

I remember popping HUGE bags of popcorn and the popcorn fights

I remember chasing down the boys that picked on the girl that lived behind us

I remember being afraid of the "monster" under the bed, but not the bully down the road

I remember loving to sit in the library at school and reading, holding a rag doll that was always in the rocking chair

I remember never being picked for any team in school until last

I remember loving the balance beam

I remember keeping to myself in school with one or two close friends, and I often wonder where one from elementary school is

I remember loving each of my elementary teachers dearly - even the 4th grade teachers assistant that was always so mean to me and wouldn't help me OR allow me to call her MOM in class. She totally made me work for those A's

I remember being a safety patrol in school and loving helping the smaller kids

I remember watching scary movies with my mom till the wee hours of the morning

I remember hardly ever spending the night away from home

I remember wishing I could give my mom everything she needed...not realizing that loving her unconditionally was enough

I remember going to the Christmas Tree lot and picking the biggest tree they had. I remember Daddy always saying yes, even though it had to be cut way down

I remember so many things!

Some good, some bad and some worse - but more than anything, I remember always being matter what.

All these things, good and bad, have shaped my heart into what it is today.

and for THAT - I'm truly thankful.

What are some of the things you remember?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Courageous Living

I hesitated as I saw the book title sitting in my email.

Courageous Living: Dare To Take A Stand; A book that is a call for men to stand up, fight back for their faith and get involved with their families written by Michael Catt, Pastor of Sherwood Baptist in Albany Georgia.

I’m a lady that stands up for her faith and I am and will always be involved with my family in that my greatest desire is that my children serve the Lord faithfully while my husband and I follow the path set before us.

I admit that I half-heartedly downloaded the book from I’m truly glad that I did!

Not only is this book a call for men to “man up” courageously, but ladies, much of it applies to us too.

This book reminds us that we need men to boldly lead the way, following Christ and husbands/dads to hold their family accountable in their actions, owning their mistakes. We need men to courageously stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone.

The book is filled with example after example of courageous men and women doing what God has called them to do with modern day applications that will encourage the timid, motivate the discouraged and inspire all who read to courageously do more.

Ladies, we are not off the hook here. Much of what is in this book applies to us too. We want men to lead the way, but we resist following them. We use the fact that our husbands don’t go to church to simply stay home because “what’s the use anyway.” We let our children do whatever they want to because it’s such a bother to keep up with them and we wonder why they don’t choose to serve the Lord when they move out. Enough of the excuses…..time to “man up” ladies.

Being a Christian isn’t easy, never has been, but when in your life time have you heard of a stoning in the USA? Sure it’s often not a life of convenience, but neither is anything that is worth having.

Courageous Living is a call to action for each and every one of us.

It’s our choice to boldly stand and choose right courageously. It’s our choice to own up to our responsibilities and make a difference for the Lord. It’s our choice to get involved and be faithful to our local church.

If you don’t like the study groups that are going on, suggest a new one – LEAD a new one, but don’t just be passive about it. DO SOMETHING. Go, be faithful and get involved!

Be courageous….and watch how others around you will gather courage as well.

Will you answer the call? Will you dare to stand?

This book was filled with many lines that I could quote for days.

Get the book and enJOY.

(Ladies, anytime you see the word man or husband – simply replace with woman/wife. WE need this too.)

  • We need a new generation of men that don’t look to the corporate as a measure of their success; rather they look into the lives of wives and children.

  • We desperately need men who find their significance in faith, family and hard work.

  • Greatness is determined by God not by man.

  • Life should not be about stuff, it should be about the Savior.

  • A life of courage will see what others can’t see and believe what others can’t believe.

  • Courage demands a decision.

  • The Church can’t resurrect what the family puts to death.

  • If fear is contagious then courage is also contagious.

  • Fear focuses on obstacles, courage focuses on opportunity. Fear sees with eyes of the flesh, Courage sees with eyes of faith.

  • Following Christ should not be multiple choice in your home.

  • The faith that once cost people their lives, doesn’t even motivate us to stay faithful to the local church.

  • You aren't a man until you take responsibility and live in accountability.

This audio book is read by Maurice England and is extremely easy to listen to as he reads with passion.

I've not seen it as of yet, but I'm sure the movie will be just as good. Watch a trailer of Courageous the Movie here.

Thank you to christianaudio for a complimentary copy of this book via the Reviewers program. I am not required to give a positive review of this book.

Christianaudio has a free audiobook for your downloading pleasure each and every month, as well as gift certificates for the audio book enthusiast in your world.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Taming The Madness

This is the time of year that we set aside specific time to reflect on all the wonderful blessings we have. We focus on the huge things like our family, home, job, car and friends as well as the gobs of little things like coffee, Diet Coke, Reese’s Cups and warm cozy sweaters. We could never truly list all of the things that we are and should be grateful for. So, why are we a grumpy sort of people sometimes?

We sometimes get grumpy during this season of Thanksgiving & Christmas because there is so much to do and so much to get for this time of the year.

How do we tame the madness?

I’m going to give you the best kept secret ever! You are going to thank me for years to come for revealing this to you. Shoot…..maybe you’ll even throw a party in my honor, who knows. Here it is…..

Plan ahead!

You heard me. A little planning is all it takes!

Here are some easy ways to do so:

  1. Between now and Christmas, start purchasing the pantry staples you’ll need for your gatherings. Add a little into your weekly shopping trip and the cost won’t kill you either.

  2. Take advantage of Christmas items already being displayed and toss in a roll of wrapping paper to your buggy.

  3. Plan easy family meals for the day/night just prior to your larger events. Your family will enjoy the change and you’ll have less to worry about.

  4. Make your Christmas List right NOW. (I’ll wait) Divide it up and start purchasing some items so that the finances are not stressed the week before Christmas. If you get your shopping done ahead of time, you can simply enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

  5. Are you baking gifts for others this year? Gather up all of your supplies with each shopping trip. Plan who is getting what and jot down the items you need.

  6. CANDY – Candy is on sale – especially right after Halloween. Purchase some bags of it and DO NOT eat it. Gosh…trust me when I say that I know how hard that is, but put it away for stockings and make up a few bags for those last minute gifts that you can pop into a nice container and present JOYfully.

  7. Plan a simple yet delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and the presentation can be amazing, especially for you artsy types. Turkeys go on sale, so do all the other items. You could easily pull off a huge meal for less than 40 bucks. Less than going out to eat at many places these days.

  8. Slowly decorate your home. Don’t rush through the evenings like a mad person, barking out orders, shoving things out of the way – instead, turn on some soothing Christmas Music and enlist the help of your family. Have fun, sing LOUD and make a wonderful memory.

  9. Start a Gratitude List and display on your refrigerator. Include a column for each of your family members names. Add to it daily to keep your heart in the true spirit of thankfulness.

  10. Tell others what they mean to you. Such a small thing when you think about it as it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, BUT when you are the one hearing it….it’s priceless.

  11. Start writing out Christmas Cards now! Do this as you are watching TV in the evenings. As you are writing you'll be thinking of the amazing people that fill your world with great JOY and gratitude will flood your heart!

  12. Schedule YOURSELF some down time! You are planning for everything, leaving nothing out.....well, sortof. Make sure you plan some time to simply relax and be joyful.

There are so many more that I could include here, but I want to hear some of YOUR tips for taming the busiest season of the year!

I also want to see some of the things you are thankful for – big and LITTLE…so use the comment box below and share with us!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Birth

The Birth is a stunning drama that literally has one simple focus…. The Birth of Christ.

I had the privilege of a sneak preview via the Producer Nathan Rouse and found it nothing short of amazing.

With obvious love for what they do and the message they are presenting, the cast pours their heart into each of their roles as they focus on the one thing that is so often overlooked during the Christmas Season, The Birth.

As you listen to the actors, hear the music and see the performance, your mind will resonate with the characters as you consider their words. Me, personally – I was struck by the Inn Keeper. He saw them from a distance and knew what they wanted and the MILLION things he had going on instantly told him he didn’t have time for them. I wonder how many of us get so busy during the Christmas Season that we are just like the Inn Keeper and don’t have room for the very One we are celebrating.

This production is a refreshing reminder to focus on The Birth of Christ. It is done in a fashion that anyone, even those that are not active in a church, can enjoy.

If you are available to see The Birth, I hope that you will. Go with a group or with a special someone, regardless, you are in for a treat!

If you look at the materials on the website and decided you’d like to have the crew do a performance in your Church, please Contact them, you’ll be glad you did.

Thank you Nathan for inviting me! It was an honor and pleasure to meet you! I'm excited to see where The Birth will be headed in years to come!

To Purchase your Tickets - Click Here


  • Starving Artist Productions’ SIXTH YEAR staging The Birth.

  • Performing eight shows (or more if needed) over 7 days at the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square in uptown Charlotte.

  • Shows run December 12 – 19, 2011

  • Show times, tickets and more information can be found at

  • Show has been twice-nominated (2009 & 2010) for Creative Loafing’s “Theatre Event of the Year”

  • “The Birth” is available for a limited number of private engagements for the holiday season

  • The Birth will host its annual Celebration Event with show and concert on Saturday, 12/17.

  • Check out previous reviews and stories about “The Birth” from Creative Loafing and the Charlotte Observer at

  • The show features both original and traditional holiday music and is based on the writings of Pulitzer Prize nominated author and theologian, Frederick Buechner.

  • Source material for the monologues is from The Magnificent Defeat by Buechner.

Here's a video of the Cast performing Shepherd's Song

Shepherd Song - The Birth - from Starving Artist Productions on Vimeo.

Not Anymore

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Everyone has a secret…

This makes my heart smile!

I love Post Secrets. Like the secrets we hide in our hearts, there are good ones, bad ones and everything in between. If you have never heard of Post Secrets, this site is a collection of post cards that people have mailed in, releasing their secrets. This site is updated with new secrets weekly. Many of them make me smile – as not all secrets are bad. Then there are those that make me think or wonder. But then you have some that just break your heart.

Tonight, one secret did just that, broke my heart.

Trust me - YOU matter!

When I read the secret above, I wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around this person and whisper to their heart:

YOU are not useless…YOU matter

There are so many people that struggle with this. One thing I’ve noticed with nearly everyone of them is that they truly matter a lot. The trouble is that the people they are around are not the squishy hugs, you matter to me kind of emotional people. If they were, the person who sent in this secret and those that feel this way would know beyond a doubt that they truly do matter. Some people simply struggle with this just because their heart is fighting a battle that many of us can’t even begin to imagine.

What can we learn from this secret?

  • The people we are around MATTER and need to know it! Tell them. Do not assume they know it.
  • Everyone wants and needs to matter. We all do. We need to make a difference. Why else do little toddlers hand little yellow ”weeds” to us and we validate that?
  • Many feel useless needlessly. It doesn’t cost us a single cent to hug someone important to us and tell them that they matter.
  • Something so small, is actually HUGE in our lives. Amazing how far a little affirmation goes isn’t it?
  • The negative things we hear stay with us far longer than the positive. Keep reinforcing the positive.
  • The old rhyme we all said as a child is a lie – Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Words not only hurt us, but often times break us. Choose them wisely.
  • Put it in writing! That card or letter letting someone know that they made a difference in you will likely be read and re-read time and time again.
  • When you see someone or leave someone give those big squishy hugs! They matter too. Don’t be in a hurry to let go quickly. Enjoy the moment!
  • When our hearts are screaming in pain, our minds simply do not remember the difference that we’ve made. Keep pictures or something that will jog our memory.
  • If you make someone smile….at anytime EVER – you are NOT useless. Period! Times are tough, things are hard – smiles are priceless.
  • Fearlessly be YOURSELF! We need you to be you – not who you think we want you to be. Y O U – because you are amazing!
There is so much more that can be said here.
I invite you to do a few things.
  1. Look around. Have you told those that matter to you, that they matter?
  2. Take stock in your own heart….do you KNOW that you matter and are NOT useless? YOU matter!
  3. What would you tell someone that feels like they are useless. Please encourage others and share your thoughts in the comments below.
*whispering to your heart* You matter! YOU are making a difference!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sticky Jesus

Does living your faith out loud and online seem like an impossible thing? Think again! Social media has given Christians a wonderful way to expand their ministry into places that I wouldn’t have even thought possible years ago. Many people wonder if it’s worth the time, if it’s all its hyped up to be and should they bother.

I say YES!

You aren’t sure where to start? Then Sticky Jesus is the book for you. Authors, Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong met online and have burst onto the scene with helps, tricks and continued support for those looking to expand their ministry. There are helps via uploads and downloads at the end of each chapter and then the true stories of how social media has made a huge impact in the lives of so many will be refreshing to your soul.

Sticky Jesus will:

  • Explore how Christ honored and built relationships and how you can do the same online.
  • Give you a practical understanding of the marketing-driven culture online.
  • Point to the Holy Spirit as your Power Source.
  • Provide personal stories that show God moving and transforming lives through social networking channels.
  • Summarize each file with a download and a prayer that are 100 percent retweetable.
  • Alert you to the danger zones.
  • Demystify the world of social networking with easy instruction on getting started on Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and content gathering (RSS).
  • Provide ongoing resources to help you grow beyond this book at
  • Include a glossary in the back of the book to help you along the way

I love living my Faith out loud and am thankful for the heart of these ladies. I encourage you to get a copy and see how your reach can be increased, how you can be a beacon for the Lord online and get to know some wonderful people along the way.

Here is a link to purchasing the book. Let me know if you get it and what your thoughts are.

A few of my favorite blog posts from their site:

50 Promises God Gives you as you step into the digital world

100 Three Word Power Posts

Make sure you follow Tami & Toni and @stickyJesus on twitter for more insite, encouragement and ways to live your faith OUTLOUD.

Tami and Toni inspire me with each new post, they help so many and I’m honored to call them my friends. Social media has made the world a little smaller and I’m thankful for the friends that I have made from all over the world that I would have never met without social media.

Tell me how you’d like to reach more people and the issues you may be facing.

What are your doubts, fears and concerns about Social Media and the online world.

Do you find it all a bit overwhelming?

I was given a free copy of Sticky Jesus by these generous hearts, but will be purchasing a copy to give away! I’m not required to give a positive review

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Favorite Twitter Helps

Anyone that truly knows me, knows I love twitter. I love the reach it has given me, I love the friends that I’ve made (yes, I said friends and yes…I do love them) and I love the encouragement that I receive there daily. I love it.

I am on all the other Social Networks and you can use those buttons over on the sidebar to hit me up there, but if you really want to interact with me online, it will be better via twitter. If you Tweet me, I’ll always reply….at some point.

So, what does a Non-Techy gal use to get the most from Twitter? I’m glad you asked. :) I’ll share with you my favorite Twitter Helps. These are in random order with the exception of the first one!

By the way, when you are experimenting with various Twitter helps, may I suggest that you try them for a few weeks and not just for a few days. Tweet out questions about what you are using if you are just not getting the hang of it. There are many people that will help you by answering your questions.

By Far the best thing for Twitter

  • TweetDeck – This is a Twitter must! You can have your @’s your dm’s and several columns all on ONE screen. No flipping back and forth! When you are starting out, this is an easy way to categorize people into groups that appeal to you. You can shorten links right from this page, send pictures, videos and even send posts Facebook, LinkedIn and others.

You can RT and even see the RT’s done from the web. I hope that one day Twitter will fix that…but for now, TweetDeck allows me to tell those people that RT from the web thank you. If I were to only use the web, I would never know they Re-Tweeted one of my posts.

You need to check out the various things TweetDeck can do. I have it on my itouch and I also use it on Google Chrome. The real time update is amazing (no refreshing screens) when I’m participating in various Twitter chats or my absolute favorite… the Online LIVE Worship Service on Twitter… #Tworship. (Click the link to see how to participate with us each week night.) I love the automation feature – I can schedule the songs and Invite people to JOYn us.

The only negative thing for me with TweetDeck is that the larger my following gets, the more it will lock up. It is actually better than it use to be, so I can tell improvements are being made. If I were limited to one way to participate on Twitter only…it would be with TweetDeck. Also, I can’t seem to get it to schedule to my facebook, but will keep working at that. One of my favorite IT Heroes says “You have a PICNIC problem – Problem In Chair, Not In Computer” and usually, he is correct.

  • UberSocial – I have a Blackberry and this is the best app I’ve seen. This makes Tweeting on the go super easy peasy. I need that. I love that I can follow people, block people, RT and add in my own comments. I can DM and even Reply All if I’m tweeted in a group. I love the Uberbar! I have several people that are “Tabs” at the top that I can easily pull up their Tweets for the day and RT out what I love. There are so many more functions to UberSocial! Check it out for yourself! I’m glad to see there is an UberSocial for the iPhone and Droid!
  • HootSuite – I love that I can schedule my #nuggetsofJOY to my Twitter account as well as my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. It has a shortner and is very easy to use.
  • SocialOomph – Many features that I love like scheduling, replying and you can tie your blog here. I don’t, but you can. It is very user friendly.
  • iTwitter – I don’t know if that is the proper name or not, but I love using this one on my iTouch. It’s from iTunes, easy to navigate, reply, RT. Love all the features.
Everything that I’ve mentioned so far is FREE for you to download and try.

Many have asked me how I’ve grown my Twitter account. I’ll tell you. Every day, I would spend about 15 minutes following the people that I was on lists with. If you listed me on a list, I would assume that the others you listed were in some way “like” me, so it made sense to follow them too. People would follow back. I did this for 2 years! Saturday mornings, when I had more time, I’d spend a little more time and grew my account up to 19,000 followers. I never would have imagined that I could be spreading joy to a thousand people, much less 19k. This year, a wonderful friend of mine that just loves super squishy hugs, gave me an awesome gift. Tweet Adder. Many people are skeptical of purchasing this but I have to tell you, it is worth the one time fee of $55.00 for One Profile. You can have up to 5 Profiles for $74.00, 10 Profiles for $110.00 and Unlimited Profiles for $188.00. (Many businesses use the multiple profiles.) This has been the best gift ever.
Tweet Adder will let you follow those that follow a certain person, or by lists, or hashtags or even key words in a profile. If you wanted to follow all of the coffee lovers in the world, you can do so. It does so much more than this! Use the link I provided and check them out. Using Tweet Adder, I can focus on doing what I do best – and that is Spreading Joy and encouraging those that need it.

May I caution you though?

If you simply “grow” your account using Tweet Adder but never interact with those that you follow, you’ll miss out on some amazing friendships, wonderful laughs and some good times. Think about it. People like Oprah and others “stars” that only follow 20 people are missing out on some pretty cool friendships from all over the world. I noticed that early on and wrote an article about it a few years back. Even though it is a few years old, it still holds true today. Click here to Read about the friendships I made early on.

Lastly, here are some other Twitter Apps You may Enjoy! All Free!
  • Seesmic - Much Like TweetDeck
  • Twello – yellow pages of Twitter
  • Twitter Counter – lets you see your growth at a glance & some cool buttons
  • Nutshell Mail – Cool way to track groups, lists & is delivered to your inbox on your schedule
  • TweetReach – To see the impact of your tweet OR if you use the web, see who has RT’d you and say thank you
  • paper.liThis is an amazing app that collects “links” through the day and puts in a News Paper Format. I have 3 of them and I subscribe to them all so that I can go back and read at my leisure each night. The Spreading Joy Daily, The Praying Peeps Daily and the Praying Peeps2 Daily. The SJ daily collects links from those I follow and usually has about 200 articles or ore. The PP daily collects links from ONLY those on my 2 lists. Awesome stuff!!

This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the things that you can find on Google or Goodsearch. Remember, when you Goodsearch – good search for spreading joy and they will make a donation to us!

To save you some time, here are a few links to a few pages that have hundreds of Twitter helps.

Over 275 items here -

99 items here -

Here are some CUTE & FREE Twitter “Follow Me” Icon Buttons

Also – Do you know Twitter has limits? Yes, they do. Check them out here.

I do have an extra account on twitter, just incase anything were to happen – feel free to follow over there too. @jailedJOY I don’t use it much – but sometimes it’s necessary and sometimes, I just “play” there.

One last thing and probably the most important of all!!!

HAVE FUN…plain and simple.

What do you think?

What are your favorite Twitter Apps?

Talk to me….I want to know!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Demonstrating the Love Of God

Pastor Michael Harrison of The Community Fellowship in Collinsville VA invited me to come and see what was happening in their community for Back2School 2011. I was honored with the invitation and decided to make the trip to see what was going on in his corner of the world. What I saw and experienced was nothing short of amazing.

The entire event was very well laid out, from beginning to end. People came at their designated times, signed in and went to the story area. They were told about Christ and about washing feet/serving and how we show love for each other by serving and helping. The next station was where all the children received free haircuts if they choose to. People from his church, community and others that wanted to help make the day special volunteered to cut hair. Even though it meant standing much of the day, these volunteers were very professional, giving these children great cuts to start their school year off with.

Then the children moved on to received their new shoes and a pair of socks. I had the honor of working in this area. There were about 25 chairs set up for the kids to sit in and we (the workers) sat on the floor in front of them. We removed their shoes, sock and told our runner what size we needed. As we washed their feet, we chatted about what they wanted to be when they grew up and anything else that came up. 3 of the children that I served were enjoying their birthday that day.

I'd LOOOOVE to have a pair of these!!

The best part was when the new shoes came out and their eyes would light up. From girly pink converse, to sky blue and then the one’s that had hope, JOY and love on them. Some of the shoes lit up, some had Speed Racer and the Mach 5 on them, but ALL of them brought mile wide smiles from the kids as well as the parents and grandparents. I was blessed to be able to pray with each and every child that I served. Talk about an honor. Several of the children gave me the biggest hugs and thanked me before leaving. I smiled and said you are welcome and invited them to come and be part of this awesome church, knowing I was just a visitor for a day and that the thanks belonged to a church with a huge heart for others.

They left that area and went on to receive 5 articles of clothes. This clothing area was nothing like I’ve ever seen. They looked neatly pressed. I had the chance to speak with Nancy, who heads up the clothing closet and she told me that 25 precious ladies help keep it neat and in order by volunteering their time each week.

Once the kids received their clothes, they were then able to receive their brand new backpack filled with various school supplies.

I pretty much stayed in the one area from 9:45 am to 5:30pm. My husband worked in various places through the day. They started at 8am and I have no clue when the cleanup ended so that services could take place on Sunday morning.

Washing Feet

I can’t imagine the work that was put into this event through the entire year and invite Pastor Harrison to share in the comments below anything his heart desires.

The ladies I worked alongside of were simply wonderful! Everyone was super nice and had no idea I was from so far away, not that that mattered, as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

I felt at home there, serving with them and look forward to going back next year and even helping where we can before then.

It’s my honor to support them financially, to be a voice for them and to do what I can to help.

I went there to spread some joy and be a blessing to Pastor Harrison as well as to see how they are making a difference in their community so that maybe one day, my community can reach out to others in the same fashion. I received a wealth of information on making a huge event like this happen as well as back2school supplies for my own upcoming event. Unbelievable!

If you are in the area, I invite you to check them out. If you are on twitter, I invite you to follow @michaelharrison and his church @the_community.

Thank you Pastor Harrison for the invitation and the opportunity to serve your community!

Please visit the following

The Community Fellowship – church link

Pastor Harrison’s Blog

Information on the Dream Center in Collinsville VA

Here is a link to Pastor Harrison’s Summary – in short 938 students came to the event and when you include adults over 2,000 people showed up. Over 400 haircuts were given, and over 230 volunteers helped to ensure this event was the best it could be.

Amazing. Completely Amazing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home and Free To Be Me

Warmth in the Winter
Gentle Breeze in the the heat
Smiles through the pain
Encouragement after defeat

Relaxing, comfy and being myself
Fun, silly and serious when necessary
With no worries of judgement
And reinforcement during the scary

Late Night or early Morning
Enjoying coffee, diet coke or unsweetened tea
Messy hair, no makeup
I am free to be completely me!

I love the quietness of the early mornings. I love how still everything is.

I love the noise of the late nights when both children are home, Todd has the TV entirely too loud and Steve is asleep, snoring so loud the kids shut the door to tone it down a little.

I love that we are all so different, yet we all feel free to just simply be ourselves.

Talk about freedom! Priceless.

Are you making your home a place that is full of individual expressions? Is everyone completely free to be themselves?

What are some of your weekend routines? Are you up early on Saturday mornings? Do you hang out in your jammies, relaxing with coffee and slowly starting the day? Do you get right up and at ‘em?

{{HUGS}} yall

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Son, Always Remember

As my son, Todd, starts his third year of Bible College I want him to remember a few things. I know he’ll have a lot of questions, hard times, joyful times and everything in between. I jotted these down on the back of a card’s envelope as I was eating dinner one evening beside Lake Hamilton in Arkansas.

I’m proud of you Todd. I love you dearly.

Son, here are a few things you should remember:

  1. You were built to serve the Lord SUCCESSFULLY
  2. The better your relationship with God, the better all others will be
  3. Protect it! (The relationship) Hear warnings that might threaten your relationship with God.
  4. Ask yourself “What am I built to do?” Categorize it and then look for God to lead
  5. Don’t just look for the writing on the wall, listen for the whisper
  6. Know storms will be coming…..remember you’ll be accompanied by the Master of the Wind
  7. Now that you are ready to fully surrender, satan will say “why” or “you can’t.” IGNORE him! He is a LIAR.
  8. Don’t forget where you’ve been! It has and will prepare you for where you are going and who you’ll help
  9. Look through the eyes of compassion as you make your way through the day
  10. No matter what….I LOVE Y O U!

US in the middle of a CRAZY day of "little things" that went wrong

What would you add here?

What words of wisdom would you give my 20 year old…or any 20 year old?

Do you remember these things as you make your way through the day?

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